WMU News

WMU moves toward countywide 911 dispatch system

June 1, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University took the next step toward becoming part of a countywide dispatch system today when members of the Board of Trustees authorized University administrators to execute a cooperative agreement.

WMU is part of a group of dispatch operators that has been investigating the potential consolidation of several Kalamazoo County emergency dispatch centers. In October, trustees authorized University officials to move forward with plans and sign a letter of intent to participate in the authority.

Today's vote allows University officials to execute the Urban Cooperation Agreement to Establish the Kalamazoo County Dispatch Authority. As stated in the agreement, the purpose of the authority will be "to create a single primary public safety answering point within Kalamazoo County which will provide the most cost-effective and efficient response to public safety emergencies." According to WMU Vice President for Business and Finance Robert M. Beam, Kalamazoo County, the city of Kalamazoo, and Kalamazoo Township are expected to participate along with the University in the authority.

The agreement details criteria for representation within the authority, powers and duties, voting and withdrawal procedures for all members.

"Last fall, we told trustees we believed that such a consolidation would result in a higher quality of service to the citizens of Kalamazoo County, while at the same time eliminating the duplication of equipment and efforts," said Beam. "All of the research done over the last seven months shows that assumption to be true. We're pleased to be moving ahead with the consolidation efforts."

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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